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KIDS

BOOKLISTS

Pura Belpré Book Awards

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Find these books and more online at http://catalog.coolcat.org

2022

Winner

The Last Cuentista
The Last Cuentista by  Donna Barba Higuera A girl named Petra Pena, wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children - among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet - and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again? --Publisher's description.

2021

Winner

Efren Divided
Efren Divided by  Ernesto Cisneros While his father works two jobs, seventh-grader Efrén Nava must take care of his twin siblings, kindergartners Max and Mia, after their mother is deported to Mexico. Includes glossary of Spanish words.

2020

Winner

Sal & Gabi Break the Universe
Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by  Carlos Alberto Pablo Hernandez In order to heal after his mother's death, Sal learned how to meditate. But no one expected him to be able to take it further and 'relax' things into existence. Turns out he can reach into time and space to retrieve things from other universes.

2019

Winner

The Poet X
The Poet X by  Elizabeth Acevedo Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

2018

Winner

Lucky Broken Girl
Lucky Broken Girl by  Ruth Behar In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.

2017

Winner

Juana & Lucas
Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina A spunky young girl from Colombia loves playing with her canine best friend and resists boring school activities, especially learning English, until her family tells her that a special trip is planned to an English-speaking place.

2016

Winner

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle In this ... memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.

2015

Winner

I Lived on Butterfly Hill
I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin When her beloved country, Chile, is taken over by a militaristic, sadistic government, Celeste is sent to America for her safety and her parents must go into hiding before they "disappear."

2014

Winner

Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass
Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass by Meg Medina Informed that a bully she does not know is determined to beat her up Latin American teen Piddy Sanchez struggles to learn more about the father she has never met, until the bully's gang forces her to confront more difficult challenges.

2013

Winner

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

2012

Winner

Under the Mesquite
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.

2011

Winner

The Dreamer
The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.

2010

Winner

Return to Sender
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez After his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure, eleven-year-old Tyler befriends the oldest daughter, but when he discovers they may not be in the country legally, he realizes that real friendship knows no borders.

2009

Winner

The Surrender Tree : Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom
The Surrender Tree : Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle Cuba has fought three wars for independence, and still she is not free. This history in verse creates a lyrical portrait of Cuba.

2008

Winner

The Poet Slave of Cuba : A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano
The Poet Slave of Cuba : A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle Juan Francisco Manzano was born in 1797 into the household of wealthy slave owners in Cuba. He spent his early years at the side of his owner's wife, entertaining her friends. His poetry was his outlet, reflecting the beauty and cruelty of his world. Written in verse.

2006

Winner

The Tequila Worm
The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales Sofia grows up in the close-knit community of the barrio in McAllen, Texas, then finds that her experiences as a scholarship student at an Episcopal boarding school in Austin only strengthen her ties to family and her "comadres."

2004

Winner

Before We Were Free
Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.

2002

Winner

Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

1998

Winner

Parrot in the Oven : mi vida
Parrot in the Oven : mi vida by Martinez Victor Manny relates his coming of age experiences as a member of a poor Mexican American family in which the alcoholic father only adds to everyone's struggle.

1996

Winner

An Island Like You : Stories of the Barrio
An Island Like You : Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer Twelve stories about young people caught between their Puerto Rican heritage and their American surroundings.